Hypocrite Central

I saw our music video on the news again tonight – usually a cause for celebration but the circumstances weren’t so great.

Plenty can be said about the wrongs of celebrities but what I find most frustrating is the self-righteousness of the public. Celebrities do the same things the rest of us do – some more so than others, of course, but they’re imperfect beings like every single one of us. Acknowledging that doesn’t justify what they do, and certainly, some “flaws” may be considered less socially acceptable than others, but we seem to think that celebs should be possessed of some superhuman capacity for perfection.

Where does the sense of self-righteousness come from? Morality as society has known it came originally from simple words of wisdom like “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and yet from the same book we discover what I find to be a compelling truth – that there are no degrees of “wrong” – there’s right and there’s wrong. I can hear the accusations of fundamentalism already but my make-up isn’t baked that way. I just agree with the sentiment of letting “him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

This reflection was brought about when I saw the aforementioned article and recalled a Facebook post from a few years back where some woman had been caught molesting children in a daycare – a horrible crime, but what scared me at the time was the mass of comments from Facebookers saying things like: “she should be tied to a chair and beaten and left to burn. I’ll light the match” and, “if you see this woman in the street spit in her face and pull her hair out”. Things to that effect. What further shocked me was the varying demographics of the virtual lynch mob – an elderly woman had left some equally vicious comments.

What a bunch of perfect, self-righteous hypocrites we are!

Warning: black comedy (with a sarcastically valid message) alert – if you’re sensitive, do not watch

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Additional: a friend pointed out that I should probably explain the context of the embedded video to avoid any misinterpretation. My reading of the video is that it’s a sarcastic comment intending the opposite message than that stated at the end of the video i.e. there is no excuse. I thought the patent absurdity of the situation was made clear (that level of reaction to… that?) If you’ve seen much in the way of scottish and irish humour you’d likely be used to its sometimes dark nature. I included the video in case someone reading this post thought I condoned or excused domestic violence in associates or friends. I do not. I just don’t think I have any right to judge them.

What matters most

An excerpt from Principle Centered Leadership by Stephen R. Covey:

Dag Hammarskjold, past secretary-general of the United Nations, once made a profound, far-reaching statement: “It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.”

In other words, I could devote eight, ten, or twelve hours a day, five , six, or seven days a week, to the thousands of people and projects “out there” and still not have a deep, meaningful relationship with my own spouse, teenage son, or close working associate. And it would take more nobility of character – more humility, courage, and strength – to rebuild that one relationship than it would to continue putting in all those hours for all those people and causes.